Letters to the Editor

Tacoma Musical Playhouse withdraws proposal to manage Knutzen Family Theatre

March 30, 2009

Dear City of Federal Way Arts Commission,

On behalf of the board of directors of Tacoma Musical Playhouse (TMP), I want to thank you for the opportunity to submit a proposal to manage the Knutzen Family Theatre.

However, TMP is officially withdrawing this proposal.

I have spoken with several arts patrons from the City of Federal Way, as well as representatives from other area arts organizations who have engaged in working relationships with Centerstage Theatre, and have concluded that the most qualified entity to manage the Knutzen Family Theatre at this time is the City of Federal Way.

This decision was reached in part after the disrespectful behavior exhibited by Alan Bryce, the artistic director of Centerstage Theatre, at the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting on March 10, 2009, and his treatment toward a fellow non-profit arts organization.

Mr. Bryce’s behavior at this meeting was unconscionable. If TMP was selected to manage the facility, Mr. Bryce stated that Centerstage would not be willing to work with TMP. It is obvious that his behavior would continue in the same manner and would not allow for an option to develop a positive working relationship.

We also feel that his repeated threats to leave Federal Way if the contract was not awarded to Centerstage Theatre shows a serious lack of true commitment to the city and community.

We would like to commend and thank Mary Faber, the Federal Way Arts Commission and the Evaluation Committee for their hard work and efforts in putting the (proposal) together, and for the comments and positive feedback TMP received from those involved in the evaluation process.

The TMP staff and board of directors extends to the city the best possible wishes in this situation and, although we are not willing to accept the management of this facility at this time, would also like to propose the possibility of programming and educational partnerships with the City of Federal Way.

Very truly yours,

Jon Douglas Rake, Managing Artistic Director of Tacoma Musical Playhouse

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